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SS Yongala Wreck

One of the best known shipwrecks in Australia, dense with coral growth and fish

SS Yongala Wreck
Passenger steam ship Yongala sank south of Townsville during a cyclone in 1911, with 122 people losing their lives in the process. In 1981 the Yongala was given official protection under the Historic Shipwrecks Act. At 107 meters (350 feet) long, she is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks.

The bow points in a northerly direction (347°), and although she lies listing to starboard at an angle of between 60° and 70°, the vessel's structural integrity has been retained. The depth of water to the sea floor is approximately 30 metres (98 feet), while the upper sections of the wreck are 16 meters (52 feet) below the surface.

The sea floor surrounding the wreck is open and sandy, so the wreck has become an established artificial reef, providing a structurally complex habitat for a diverse range of marine life. SS Yongala is particularly famous for vivid soft corals and its population of olive sea snakes. Manta rays, octopuses, giant groupers, eagles rays, turtles, huge schools of barracudas, giant trevallies, bull sharks, tiger sharks, and many others are plentiful at this site. During the summer months, it is possible to encounter spotted mink and humpback whales. Hard and soft corals, including large gorgonians, are in excellent condition and quite spectacular.

As the bottom of the wreck reaches 30 meters (98 feet) and the dive site often has strong currents, it is recommended only for experienced divers.

Depth m/ft


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